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A woman looking into a three paneled mirror. She has two different reflections. One happy and one sad.

The Two Faces of Multiple Sclerosis

Your future was so bright. I knew you were going places. And I was coming with you. When your dreams came true, so did mine.

You were my best friend. We were one. You knew all my darkest secrets and told no one. We were so happy.

Then something happened. I changed. Gradually I became too tired to join in activities we once enjoyed. We stopped running in the park and going to the gym. I began walking with a limp and slurring my words.

Barely recognizable

When we looked in the mirror, you barely recognized me. I would sleep all day and isolate myself at night. The energetic person you knew all your life was replaced by a MonSter.

So we sought help. MRI. Blood test. Spinal tap. The diagnosis was in. The symptoms were all too familiar to the neurologist. And his words altered everything. That’s when I knew it was over. The results confirmed our ending. You were gone. I was gone.

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I didn't want to believe it

I understand change happens, but not this. I just didn’t want to believe it. I never thought you would ever leave me. Something like this happens to other people. Not us. Not me.

Just the other day we were having the time of our life. Now I can’t find you. You vanished. I didn’t even get to say goodbye. One day you were here and then you were gone. It’s hard to believe you’re really gone. I need you. I need me.

I can't give up

In my heart, I know what I’m looking for may never return. But I can’t give up the possibility of reuniting. It’s just so difficult to function without you. My daily activities become impossible chores. And random tingling and numbness grow to be a norm.

They say hope is in the air, so I hold my breath wishing to see you. Wishing to feel your energy. Wishing that you would come back and make me whole again.

At night, visions of you appear in my dreams. When I wake you’re always gone. Those hallucinations haunt me. They make me feel like I’m dying a thousand times over.

A brief return

Then out of the blue, the other day, you came back for a visit. I could sense your presence that morning. So, I made plans. We walked around the mall and went shopping without getting tired. We ate lunch and saw a movie with friends. It was so much fun. Just like old times.

But maybe we did too much. Perhaps I pushed too hard. Once we got back home, I could feel you slipping away. I tried to hold on but I lost my grip on you.

Suddenly, I was all alone. Back wall walking around my apartment. Blaming myself for losing you again. I cried so much that day I almost drowned in my own tears.

A shadow of my former self

I began compartmentalizing my existence. Feeling helpless, as I became someone I didn’t recognize. A mere shadow of my former self. Dwelling on my past. Fighting bouts of fatigue and pain.

Exhausted, I laid motionless on my couch. No doubt an exacerbation was creeping up. I was tormented by the anguish of being abandoned. Deceived by my own body.

Wearing the frown of relapsing grief. Longing to restore the smile of remitting peace. Trying my best to be one complete person while navigating life with the two faces of multiple sclerosis.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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